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Taliban Commander, Advisers Killed in NATO Air Strike in Afghanistan

NATO says a senior Taliban commander and two advisers in northern Afghanistan were killed in an air strike Monday.

The insurgents were driving through the desert northeast of Kunduz City when they were hit by precision air fire.

NATO says the Taliban commander was responsible for all aspects of military operations in Kunduz province.

In southern Afghanistan, police say two civilians have been killed by two explosions that went off within a minute of each other as a police convoy passed by.

Kandahar's deputy provincial police chief Fazel Ahmad Sherzad said his car was the target of Monday's blasts, but he was not in the vehicle at the time. He said the blasts were caused by a roadside bomb and a motorbike packed with explosives.

Kandahar is the largest city in southern Afghanistan, and is a militant stronghold.

A U.S.-led operation planned for later this year aims to clear Kandahar of Taliban fighters.

U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, in part to back up the Kandahar offensive. The operation will be a critical test of the Obama administration's Afghan strategy.